'This Week' Transcript: GOP Candidate Rick Santorum

STEPHANOPOULOS: We got a lot of questions on this on Facebook and Twitter, and I want to play one of them to you from Doc Seuss (ph), Chris Doc Seuss (ph). What should we do with all the non-Christians in this country? If I do not hold this belief, which I do not, how does he plan on representing me?

SANTORUM: Yes, I just said. I mean, that's the whole point that upset me about Kennedy's speech. Come into the public square. I want, you know, there are people I disagree with. Come to my town hall meetings, as people have done, and disagree with me and let's have a discussion. Let's air your ideas, let's bring them in, let's explain why you believe what you believe and what you think is best for the country. People of faith, people of no faith, people of different faith, that's what America is all about, it's bringing that diversity into and challenge of the different ideas that motivate people in our country. That's what makes America work. And what we're seeing, what we saw in Kennedy's speech is just the opposite, and that's what was upsetting about it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're just about out of time. You are eloquent on that point—

SANTORUM: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you also have a car in the Daytona 500 today. You're going to win?

SANTORUM: Hey, I will – he started on road 21 (ph) out of 22. But with – I mean, it was great, he was one of the final qualifiers, and I'm so excited. Tony Raines is our driver. It's the 26th car. It's a Ford, which I'm very excited about, and you know, we'll be watching, you know, this afternoon. And I talked to him about a strategy. I recommended he stay back in the pack, you know, hang back there until the right time, and then bolt to the front when it really counts. So let's watch. I'm hoping that for the first, you know, maybe 300, 400 miles, he's sitting way, way back, letting all the other folks crash and burn, and then sneak up at the end and win this thing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I sense a metaphor there. We will be watching today. Senator, thanks very much.

SANTORUM: Oh, really? I didn't –

(LAUGHTER)

SANTORUM: OK, thanks, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And with that, let's turn to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder,who has endorsed Mitt Romney and Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, who this week was named cochair of President Obama's reelection campaign. Welcome to both of you.

And Governor Snyder, let me begin with you. You heard Rick Santorum there. He says that your candidate, Mitt Romney, is the candidate of government.

SNYDER: I think Governor Romney has done a great job in terms of his track record. If you looked at his background, I think we could really use someone with private-sector experience. It's about creating jobs. His experience as chief executive of a great state, Massachusetts. And then most importantly, his policies. If you look at it, he has good policies for job and economic growth. That's the real issue here, is jobs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is he going to win in Michigan?

SNYDER: I believe he will. If you look at where he's coming from the polls, now that he's had a chance to campaign in Michigan, he's come up well in the polls.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't expect you to weigh in on the Republican primary fight, but I wanted to ask you about something else that was in the news this week, and it matters to every American -- gas prices, high gas prices. I want to show this chart that shows the rise in gas prices since President Obama took office. It goes from about $1.85 a gallon to $3.59 and climbing right now. During the last campaign, President Obama hammered the Republicans on this issue. Is turnabout fair play now?

PATRICK: I think as long as we have this dependence on foreign oil, we're going to see these spikes. And this is a practical issue, not just a political one, and the president's emphasis on trying to break our dependence on foreign oil is incredibly important. We have more domestic production today in America and oil production than in I think 15 or 20 years. The president's emphasis on energy efficiency and clean and alternative energy is enormously important. And in Massachusetts, I can tell you, it's creating tremendous jobs right now.

So, we need to stay on that plan--

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, wrong to blame him on this.

PATRICK: I think it's right to credit him with taking the steps that have to be taken in the long time to break us from our dependence on foreign oil.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you agree with that?

SNYDER: Again, I don't see the point in blaming. That's not our philosophy in Michigan at all (inaudible). My view is, is we need to have a discussion on the issues. And the big issue that everyone wants, if you talk to our citizens, is not looking at the past or current things, but it's where are the jobs are for the future, for today and for tomorrow?

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about on energy?

SNYDER: Energy, I mean, that is an important issue, and that's going to hold us back. The bigger question is what's going on here in Washington? With the deficit, the budget, those kind of challenges. Is we need people working together here, and that's why I was excited to have the primary come to Michigan. Michigan is a role model of success. We were at the bottom for a whole decade. And we balanced our budget. We're paying down our liabilities. We've got a lot of good things going. We're creating jobs in Michigan. And the one thing holding us back is, dysfunctionalty in Washington. So I just encourage Washington to get its act together and move forward.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's interesting you say that, because there is a big debate going on about the bailout from Washington for the auto industry, which is a big part of the comeback. I know you don't want to dwell on it too much, but you actually supported it, thought it was the right thing. Both Republican candidates, top Republican candidates now, are opposed to it. And that caused President Obama to weigh in on the Republican primary with this ad this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): When a million jobs were on the line, every Republican candidate turned their back, even said let Detroit go bankrupt. Now, a retooled, restructured industry is back because of the grit and sacrifice of Michigan workers.

OBAMA: Don't bet against the American worker.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: This is a case where the federal government helped Michigan, isn't it?

SNYDER: Well, what I said very clearly is, the bailout of the auto industry is working. And I'm not going to go armchair quarterback it. I think there are alternative scenarios that could have worked also, but the point is, is that is history, and the important part is it was successful, we're moving along, creating jobs.

So the question shouldn't be dwelling on the auto bailout. It really is the question of what are the candidates really talking about to help someone find a job today and tomorrow? Michigan has improved a lot. We had 14 percent unemployment at the worst point. We're at 9.3, but that's too much. But we also have found, we have 76,000 open jobs in Michigan. And we designed programs to get people connected with those job opportunities. That's something at the federal level and working with other states, we could do much more. And so those are the kind of programs I wish people would be talking about. We're going to do them in Michigan, but I would rather partner with other states and the federal government to do it nationally.

PATRICK: May I just add here, George, that this is a thoughtful governor, who is a problem solver, and I think that's how we, most governors see ourselves, as problem solvers.

And in my case, and I think certainly in the president's case, it's not about government solving every problem in everybody's life, at the federal or the state level. It's about government helping people help themselves. And so being as bright-line as some of the candidates are today about government never participating is foolish. And in fact--

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- with your state, obviously, because of the debate over the Massachusetts health care plan and whether or not that really is something that President Obama used as a model for Obamacare.

PATRICK: Well, it has been enormously important and successful in Massachusetts. Over 98 percent of our residents have health insurance today, 99.8 percent of children. 90 percent of our residents have access to primary care today. It's added 1 percent to state spending. It has not been the budget buster that folks claim it has been outside of Massachusetts. It's very, very popular. More businesses are offering insurance to their employees today than before the reform went into -- went into effect. And we've moved on now to the next big chapter, which is a national issue, and that's around how to contain costs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is Michigan going to follow that model?

SNYDER: Well, the model I want to do for Michigan is the Travelocity/Orbitz kind of model, in terms of working with the private sector on better shopping choices. Because the part I liked, they ask people about health insurance, when they talk -- they get too tied up in the federal issues as opposed to stepping back to say, what's important and how do you buy your travel? When was the last time you called five airlines or five hotels? You haven't. And it works really well. So why shouldn't we look at an alternative like that for health insurance, where we create a marketplace with private people coming in, creating more competition, creating better shopping opportunities for people because it's a very complicated field. So that would be the Michigan variation that we think is really appropriate.

PATRICK: I would just say, there's a lot about what the governor just described that we're doing, in fact, in Massachusetts. This is very much a market-based solution. It's a hybrid solution, and that's exactly what the Affordable Care Act is.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Sounds like Washington could use the two of you there together. Bottom line, before we go, Governor Snyder says that Mitt Romney is going to win Michigan in the primary. Who wins it in the general election?

PATRICK: Oh, the president wins it in the general election. People understand this president is on their side. He cares about working people. He cares about a stronger economy and a stronger country and that we ought to turn to rather than on each other.

SNYDER: I think Governor Romney is a great candidate, and I think he would be a great president. You really have a case where you've got a state that if you talk to our citizens, it's about jobs and the kids and their future. And I think as the campaign focuses on that, as we get into the general election, I think we're going to see a good race, but I think Governor Romney is a great candidate.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: We'll see, Governors, thank you both very much.

SNYDER: Thank you.

PATRICK: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Up next -- our powerhouse roundtable weighs in on all the week's politics. Why won't that brokered convention talk die? The Dow is up and so are gas prices. Will that hurt the economy and President Obama?

Plus, the envelope please, what to watch for on this Oscar Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: You know, we can all learn something from the Oscars. You know how they play music to keep people from talking on and on? You know how the band eventually drowns them out? Why can't we do that at the debates? Wouldn't that be fantastic?

JIMMY KIMMEL, TALK SHOW HOST: It's the night we manage to turn our attention away from the teachers and firefighters, and shine our spotlight on the real heroes, the actors who pretend to be teachers and firefighters.

MORE

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: If it had to be kind of closed up today, the whole nominating process, then we would be looking at a brokered convention.

HALEY BARBOUR, FORMER GOVERNOR, MASSACHUSETTS: There is a chance that somebody else might get in.

(UNKNOWN): If this became a brokered convention in Tampa, would you be interested in stepping into the breach?

GOV. MITCH DANIELS, R-IND.: I really would not be interested.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Some are privately asking you still to think about getting back in the race. Is that true?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J.: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What are they saying to you?

CHRISTIE: Listen, they say things they've always said before. What I say back to them is I'm supporting Mitt Romney.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: The dream that just won't die, a brokered convention. We're going to talk about that today along with a lot of other politics on our roundtable. I'm joined as always by George Will. Former governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, now the anchor of "The War Room" on CurrenTV, and another former governor of Michigan, John Engler, now the president of the Business Roundtable; and Cokie Roberts.

And, George, we've had two weeks now all focused -- just about all focused on the state of Michigan. You showed me -- I showed Rick Santorum those polls. He came in with a real head of steam and ran into the Romney steamroller.

WILL: Well, Romney, however, is in the unenviable position that, if he wins, people say, well, of course he won; it's his home state, although yesterday, several times, I gather, he referred to "my state," meaning Massachusetts, so he gets a little confused about his provenance there.

(LAUGHTER)

But -- and if he loses it, it's a terrible thing. But what really should be alarming Republicans is the collateral damage of this campaign so far. There's a poll out called the Purple Poll of 12 swing states, neither blue, neither red, and in those 12 states, his unfavorables are 57 percent and his favorable rating is 27 percent.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mitt Romney?

WILL: Yes. So he's being damaged by the damage he's doing to others.

ROBERTS: Well, and by the -- it's not just -- Rick Santorum didn't just run into the Romney steamroller; he ran into Rick Santorum's own words.

And as we just saw on the program earlier today, it doesn't work to talk about people not going to college. It doesn't work to say that church and state should not be separate in America. That's not where the voters are. And -- and he says things that are getting him into trouble with the voters. And that does make the purple-state situation much, much worse for the Republican Party as a whole.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Governor Engler, is it where a lot of primary voters in the state of Michigan are?

ENGLER: Well, I think the Michigan Republican primary voters are conservative, generally; they're very pro-life. But Mitt Romney's on message in the state and I think he has, sort of, righted himself and is edging ahead. You can't say that he's surged ahead and he's still vulnerable to who shows up.

Michigan's one of those open primary states. The thing that I think Governor Romney has going for him is the long haul. And I still think he's the only one who's prepared to go the long, long distance. I think there's 1,144 delegates needed.

(LAUGHTER)

A little more than 100 have been awarded. Michigan only can award half its delegates because it's getting a penalty for going early. So there's about 30 delegates at stake in at all.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So this has a long way to go. And I take it that's exactly what Democrats are hoping for.

(LAUGHTER)

GRANHOLM: This has really been an amazing -- an amazing period of time for Democrats, for political talk show hosts. It's really be something.

(LAUGHTER)

You know, one other thing that's interesting, when I think about Michigan, though, on Tuesday, is that it doesn't -- it's not a winner-take-all state, so you spoke to Rick Santorum way up in the Upper Peninsula, That's the first congressional district. That's a district that's likely to go his direction. The delegates in Michigan are all broken down by congressional district, two per district, 14, you know, districts.

So it's going to be -- even if Romney wins...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if he loses, he's going to pick up a lot of delegates.

GRANHOLM: Exactly, he's going to pick up...

ROBERTS: And the Republicans mimic the Democrats on this. It's mind-boggling. But, you know, Mitt Romney, four years ago in Michigan, did win the Catholic vote in the primary. Now, it will be interesting to see if that happens again with Santorum in there. I bet not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, Michigan voters have a history in these primaries, Governor, of taking on the front-runner from the...

(LAUGHTER)

... from the right.

ENGLER: I'm painfully aware of that, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

STEPHANOPOULOS: George Bush lost to John McCain and then John McCain loses to Mitt Romney.

(CROSSTALK)

ENGLER: ... firewall here.

(LAUGHTER)

Well, and there's some of that going on. I mean, the UAW has letters and communications out urging members to go vote. Some of the polling, the Mitchell poll, most recent, I think, had a 7 percent Democratic participation. But if that goes to...

STEPHANOPOULOS: And those Democrats coming in voting for Santorum?

ENGLER: I would assume. I don't think they're coming to help Mitt Romney because -- I mean, they're looking at November, too.

And Michigan, with Mitt Romney on the ticket, is very much in play in November.

ROBERTS: I mean, his -- again, four years ago his ties to Michigan was something that the voters said was very important to them, in the exit polls four years ago in Michigan.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You doubt whether it's in play, but play out the two possibilities coming out on Tuesday night, one, Mitt Romney wins, even if it's close; it still goes on for quite a long time.

If he loses, what does that -- do we see a kind of eruption here among Republicans in the Washington establishment saying we have to find someone else, even though apparently no one -- no one else wants to get in.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: And why would they?

WILL: You can't beat something with nothing. Santorum is something. And no one else, Christie, Daniels, all the rest, they say we're not getting in. And I think some of them by now have said, what do I inherit if I get into this?

George, every team that goes to spring training in baseball knows it's going to win 60 games; it's lose 60 games. You fight the whole season over the middle 42 games. The middle 42 games are analogous to the swing voters in this country. And the question is how apt are the Republicans after they go through three more months of this, trying to outbid one another and lecturing the country on the purpose of sex and other things?

How -- how competitive are they going to be with that swing vote?

ROBERTS: Not -- not to mention what they've done in terms of Hispanics on immigration.

GRANHOLM: Well, and I was just going to say that, in those swing states, the Hispanic vote is going to be critical.

And you've got people like Mitt Romney who are trying to outflank others, the, sort of, anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic, anti-gay, anti-sex, anti-everything...

(LAUGHTER)

... and it's just going to completely narrow that field, which is why, I mean, Democrats are hoping this lasts for a while for the reasons that you described. But I also think that even someone who came into this as -- as perceived to be somewhat moderate, which was Mitt Romney, he's had to move so far to the right, I don't know how he walks it back

STEPHANOPOULOS: How does he get it back?

ENGLER: I think he talks about the race between President Obama and himself. He talks about the choice in front of the American electorate. Most of the American electorate are still disproving of the performance of the president on the economy.

They look at this recent energy plan and say that's simply not substantive. They look at gas prices up 100 percent. They look at the deficit up, you know, more than $1 trillion a year, doubled since he's been in office.

The performance -- you know, the Obama record now comes into sharp focus, and I think that's where the debate comes down.

And you say, well, yes, all of this Republican intramural, it's really tough; it's hurt them. But at the end of the day, it's one guy against the other guy. And you get to the World Series, you still have to play the game. And I think, in November, they're still going to hold the election and there's a choice. So I...

ROBERTS: You know, it was interesting in your interview with the two current governors. And here we have two former governors. And -- and they said we're problem solvers, you know, and it's -- the problem is up there on the Hill.

And -- and Mitt Romney was a problem solver as a governor. As Governor Granholm says, you have to be. And -- and that is -- and that is something that is appealing in one way, but it's not -- it's not juicy enough. It's not sexy enough.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's true, but doesn't it put him in a little bit of a box, George? Because one of the biggest problems, according to Governor Patrick, that he saw, was the issue of health care, yet he can't really proclaim that?

WILL: Exactly. I mean, that -- his signature achievement is his signature problem in this race right now, because it puts him on the opposite those who are the energy in the Republican party and quite energetic in Michigan, as I understand it, the Tea Party, at this point, which says this is an election, a referendum about limited government and Mitt Romney's on on other side.

GRANHOLM: But the irony is, if you (inaudible) in the laboratories of democracy and you hear Governor Patrick saying it's worked and it's enormously popular across the board the business community likes it, why wouldn't you look at a model like that as something that the entire country could embrace?

Because we are competing globally. I mean, you talk all the time about our international competitors. Our international competitors provide health care at half the cost; they cover everyone, and the outcomes are better. Any business person looking at that would say we've got a broke system and here's a model that works. This is why I think Romney has got a major problem in the general election.

ENGLER: I think the health care issue runs into the deficit issue and as a result, sort of, washes out the bottom.

I think, when you ask people in this country what they're worried about, five to one, it's jobs, even over the deficit. So it's the economic issues. And Michigan, at the end of the day, is an economic state. It's still a full percentage unemployment above the national rate.

I think Romney, or the Republican nominee, if somehow -- it doesn't have to be Romney -- has an excellent opportunity to pivot that election there. And that's where...

STEPHANOPOULOS: The question is how...

ROBERTS: Every state's an economic state, you know, and every vote is an economic vote. I mean, there's all this conversation now because of the arguments about abortion and contraception about the women's vote. The women's vote is an economic vote. It's not a vote on social issues.

And -- and the real question is, do people wake up the day before the election and say, I want this guy who's in the White House now to stay there for four more years because I trust him more than the other guy to make my job situation better? That's the fundamental question.

ENGLER: I know what he's done. I mean, I beat a two-term incumbent and it was partly not because I was so popular at the time, but we could make the case that, if he had it, you'd have seen it by now.

(LAUGHTER)

And there's -- there is that element.

GRANHOLM: But the economic numbers are getting in his direction. I mean, he's got, you know, 13,000 in the Dow. You've got economic confidence...

ENGLER: Well, unemployment rate above 8 percent for three consecutive years. Not since the Great Depression...

(CROSSTALK)

GRANHOLM: But, you know, 23 months of job creation.

ROBERTS: And Europe -- and Europe could send us all down the tubes.

WILL: If we had the January job creation rate, which was pleasing to people -- if we had that, we would not still get back to full employment until 2019. The median family income in America today is lower than it was 1999. There are fewer Americans working today than were working in 2001.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But, George, isn't it the trend that matters?

WILL: I don't know. If -- if...

(CROSSTALK)

... if the average voter is going to look at the numbers and say "They make me feel better" or if he's going to look at his neighbor and his uncle who are unemployed and he's not going to feel better.

GRANHOLM: But if he looks at -- if they're interested in this economic inequality and the downward spiral of wages, and they look at the plans of these, all of these candidates put out -- every analyst who's looked at for example Mitt Romney's tax plan says it creates -- it exacerbates income disparities. Even the deficit--

(CROSSTALK)

GRANHOLM: -- between $2 and $6 trillion he adds to the deficit.

(CROSSTALK)

ENGLER: Voters aren't analysts. Voters are emotional, and it's about leadership. And they know what they've got. If they like that, they can vote to keep it. If they're unhappy -- and you think -- there's three million people that have sort of dropped out, that disappeared. You throw them back into the unemployment rate--

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: Is it a referendum on Obama, in which case he loses, or is it a choice between Obama and the Republican? In which case he probably wins.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But in that case, I want to press you a little bit on the point you made about how women voters are going to vote the economy more than anything else. I basically agree with that, but I guess the question will be, does all of this dialogue around the social issues close off a certain segment?

ROBERTS: No, I don't think so. I mean, look, on abortion, we have lots of data. About 4 percent of the people vote on abortion as an issue. Men and women vote exactly the same on the subject of abortion, and the pro-lifers are slightly more likely to vote than the pro-choicers.

Contraception has not been an issue, and it is somewhat interesting to have it come up.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: But I think you're going to see people just -- as you saw in the debate this past week, nobody wants to touch it.

GRANHOLM: I think there has been an interesting course correction in Virginia, for example, and I think that is a signal--

STEPHANOPOULOS: Explain that.

GRANHOLM: Well, that, obviously Governor McDonnell had supported some of these very, especially the ultrasound, transvaginal ultrasound, hugely offensive (ph) -- hugely intrusive. There is no -- if that had passed and if that sort of became the rallying cry in some way, I think that would have been extremely damaging. So he backed off of that.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: Somebody says the state as they did in that debate, the state shouldn't be making health decisions for people. Well, talk about the state making health decisions for people.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Can the Republican nominee walk this back?

WILL: It depends in part on events. If they get some help from Greece, Europe and other things that make the economy unavoidable as an issue, they will. But right now, they think they're going to float in on high gas prices. Something like that, and that's just preposterous.

GRANHOLM: It is preposterous. I think blaming the president for high gas prices is like blaming Rudy Giuliani for 9/11. It's totally ridiculous.

WILL: Allen West from South Florida, a Republican, said he was outraged this week because it cost him $70 to fill his car. He drives a Hummer.

(LAUGHTER)

WILL: Newt Gingrich said the American people have a right to demand $2.50 gas.

(CROSSTALK)

WILL: They have the right to demand that lobsters grow on trees, but I mean, this is economic nonsense.

ROBERTS: Also, it's interesting how he makes all these claims about when he was speaker and Bill Clinton was president, how all these things were great. And now Barack Obama is president, he doesn't point out there's a Republican speaker, and that these things are not so great.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But Governor, even if gas prices aren't the president's fault, they're his problem.

ENGLER: Absolutely. And I think the Republican nominee is perfectly able to cite that under Bill Clinton as president, twice as many leases were let out as they were under the Obama administration. He goes to Florida and talks about support for all-of-the-above energy strategy, but that's because places like North Dakota, on private lands, that's because state lands are being opened up. The Gulf production is down. Federal lands production is down. He says 85 percent of potential oil and gas is opened up, but that's 85 percent of the 15 or so percent that they're opening up. The Atlantic seaboard, the West Coast, much of Alaska. The eastern part of the Gulf, it's been all put off --

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: But again, as you said, Governor, people don't focus on that. They're not going to sit there and say, oh, wait, they're not drilling in Alaska. They're going to say, my gas prices are $4.50 --

(CROSSTALK)

WILL: -- part of the problem is about 10 blocks from here at the Federal Reserve building. As long as oil is traded in dollars, and as long as we're promiscuously printing dollars and the value of the dollar is going down, the price of oil and the price of gasoline is going to go up. So blame the Federal Reserve while you're at it.

(CROSSTALK)

ENGLER: You know, all true perhaps, but I mean, I do think that there is a -- you link it, if you're going to run on an economic agenda, which I think, George, to your point earlier, if it isn't an economic campaign, the Republican candidate is in serious trouble. If they don't have a referendum on the guy who--

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if everything is moving or beginning to move in the right direction economically, absent some kind of a crisis in either Iran or Greece, and you have got governors like Rick Snyder in Michigan talking about a comeback, Chris Christie talking about a New Jersey comeback -- how does the Republican nominee maneuver through that?

ENGLER: Well, I think, again, you look at the top-line numbers. And I think that, yes, it's better than -- as bad as it's been, but it still remains -- just the 8 percent unemployment rate, you know, you have got the president sort of famously saying that it would be below. We're now three consecutive years above. And no -- none of the--

ROBERTS: If it goes below, does that do it for him?

ENGLER: Oh, I think it would be very helpful. I think it would be a big--

GRANHOLM: It's 8.3. I mean, it's in the ballpark. He wasn't the one who said that, by the way.

(CROSSTALK)

GRANHOLM: -- Romer who projected that that would happen. But can I just say one other thing about the gas issue? Because I think it's a really important issue, and I do think the Republicans are going to hammer this. If, according to the Energy Information Agency, if you opened up every single potential drilling opportunity in the United States, it would have the effect of lowering gas prices 3 cents, maybe. And that's because, of course, oil is traded on a global market.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: In fact, that happened, when the president did open the reserves, that our gas prices barely budged.

ENGLER: But it's real simple. I mean, gas prices have gone up 100 percent basically from his inauguration day to present time. It's not the only issue, but it is a marker. You lay down a number of these markers in the campaign--

ROBERTS: (inaudible) Jimmy Carter, right.

ENGLER: -- you get into a direction. And I think, you know, are people feeling good? According to the data -- and George made an important point about there are only certain states where it really matters. I mean, what California thinks doesn't really matter very much in a presidential election, but these swing states it does. Overall nationally, most people don't believe the economic policy of the president is working.

ROBERTS: You could get a perfect storm. You know, you could get Iran doing something terrifying. Europe, not just Greece, but Italy going down the tubes, and we saw this weekend horror in Afghanistan.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And it's still basically a dead heat right now before all of that perfect storm.

We got a couple of minutes left. I want to talk about the Oscars tonight. Big night here on ABC, Oscar Sunday. And, George, I just want to get what you are watching for.

WILL: There is only one movie I understand, and that was "Moneyball." So, I haven't seen any of the others. I have seen it four times.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Four times?

(LAUGHTER)

WILL: There's nothing else on television until the game starts.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Billy Beane, who is the Oakland A's general manager, is played by Brad Pitt. You got a great story about him and Brad Pitt.

WILL: Well, Pitt came to his house in Oakland and said, I'm just going to walk you around -- around you for one day. He goes and does that, they go off, they make the movie. Billy is watching the movie with his daughter. And he says, "do I do that? Do I do that?" She says, "dad, you do it all the time." So Pitt deserves Oscars, just give it all to "Moneyball."

STEPHANOPOULOS: All for "Moneyball."

GRANHOLM: I haven't seen them all, I must say, but I did love "The Help," and I do think Viola Davis is probably going to walk away with that Oscar.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That is a brilliant movie.

GRANHOLM: It was a great movie.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Fantastic, fantastic movie.

ENGLER: Well, my expert is Hannah (ph), my daughter, and they loved "The Help." But she is picking "The Artist" for best picture. And I like Gary Oldman for the best actor, because I like the George Smiley role that he played--

(CROSSTALK)

ENGLER: I think he's due for one, so I'd love to see that happen. And I loved Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher. I didn't like the movie, but--

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not?

ENGLER: I just thought that it really gave short thrift to a remarkable, transformative political career, and there were things in there, for example, the end of the Soviet Union as we knew it. And it sort of -- how that happened. They just sort of reported it did end, but there was a lot that was just missing. And you kind of had this picture of this -- Margaret Thatcher still lives today -- but in her --

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: It was a brilliant performance.

ENGLER: She was great.

ROBERTS: You know, I went to the Oscars only once, and I was in my 20s. And even then it was just mysterious to me. I was saying, get me to a political convention where I know what is going on.

(LAUGHTER)

STEPHANOPOULOS: They are run like political campaigns these days.

ROBERTS: But I just think "Hugo" was the most brilliant movie that I have ever seen. I just thought it was just spectacular, and it was such an homage to the movies. So I would give Scorsese the best director and "Hugo" the best movie. But I basically would give Meryl Streep best actress sort of any year she acts.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: I just have got to put in a plug for "Bridesmaids."

(LAUGHTER)

STEPHANOPOULOS: It was just hilarious. I loved every minute of it.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: You can watch Billy Crystal and the Oscars right here on ABC tonight. Coverage begins at 7:00 Eastern. Coming up, if she's not running for anything, why is Sarah Palin producing a video like this? My answer in "Your Voice" this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: We will never give up and we shall endure. We will always come through. Let's stand together. Let's stand with honor. Let's restore America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: This week, we lost two brave journalists in Syria where 5,000 overall have died.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARIE COLVIN, JOURNALIST: If you are going to cover a war you always weigh the risks.

The Syrian army is basically shelling a city of cold, starving civilians.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And we honor our fellow Americans who served and sacrificed. The Pentagon released the names of three soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally today your voice this week where I take a shot at answering your questions. And the first one today comes from Joe Best, "is Sarah Palin just waiting in the wings? She seems to like the drama."

I agree with that. She loves to weigh in. She said this week that there should be nothing to fear from that brokered convention. We showed that. But I don't think she's looking to get in, maybe laying the groundwork, though, for 2016. I think that is possible.

And David Rossi would like to know, "what do you think of the American experience on the Clinton presidency thus far? How would you grade it?" That's the documentary on PBS. Actually I have not had the chance to see it yet. It has been a little busy here at ABC, but it sure has kicked up a lot of controversy. And I'm looking forward to checking it out.

If you have got a question for me send it in on Facebook and Twitter at #askgeorge or any time on ABCNews.com and Yahoo.

That's all for us today. Check out World News with David Muir tonight and get the latest from our political team all week long on OtisNews.com.

Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. I'll see you tomorrow on GMA.

END

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